Does it Really Matter if God Exists?

Joscelyn Kate

Can the existence of God even be proven?

There are two ways that can be used to attempt to verify the existence of something, either by falsifying it—showing that it does not or cannot exist, or by using evidentiary standards—demonstrating that the only logical conclusion based on presented evidence is that a specific conclusion is true.

When someone claims a belief in God, non-believers often wonder how believers could possibly hold on to a feeling or the truth of something without evidence. Believing in God without current, widely accepted proof or evidence seems impossible and ambiguous to non-believers. We often feel as if faith is a choice people make, and some I’m sure do. Some people also choose to love. Faith is a feeling, people believe God is there, they have faith and they feel the presence of their God. Holders of faith believe in the stories of their holy books. They feel the truth in their faith. It’s similar to how we love. Love is a feeling, people believe it’s there. Nobody has ever proven the existence of love. Yet nobody has falsified its existence either. But we do not dispute that love exists in someone’s life when they claim that it does.

So if you believe that love exists in your life, what is your method for proving it’s there? The method is likely a personal one. We all experience love in different ways. The way that love is shown to us is personal and each person would describe it differently. Each person has their own experiences giving and receiving love and they describe those experiences in very different ways. Yet when someone describes the love that they feel, we do not question that they are feeling what they describe, and we do not ask them to prove to us how they are feeling what they describe.

Some people share the ways in which they find evidence of love, they agree that a certain gesture or act demonstrates love. Someone else may disagree with that representation of love because they have their own personal standards and those gestures or acts may not meet their standards of love, but they would not question the feelings of those with different evidentiary standards. That doesn’t mean the standards of the others are null and void or questionable.

Proving the existence of love is difficult because feeling love is subjective. People fundamentally agree that inherently and intrinsically love exists, some people believe that we have intense survival instincts that lead us to have urges and we call them love. Some people don’t believe love exists at all and it’s simply a series of chemical reactions within our brain. We do not have a way to falsify or verify the truth of love. All we know is what we can describe. And even those who do not believe in love, those who think it’s a series of chemicals or a survival instinct, agree that something exists, that we all call love.

Oftentimes when someone asks for proof of God, they’re referring to evidence and that would be related to the evidentiary standard. The lack of response to this request is then confused with the concept that no scientific evidence exists proving God and thus God is a scientific impossibility. Proving God exists, however, does not have to be done through the scientific method, it could also be done through circumstantial theorizing, which is often how humans come to conclusions. Science is not how we know we love. We don’t use scientific methods to share that we experience love. And when someone claims that they love, we do not ask them for scientific falsification or otherwise question their sanity.

So if you’re agnostic or atheist and you do not believe in God, before you ask for proof or evidence from those who have faith, describe the methods you use for proving there is love in your life. Unravel the ways in which you’re able to prove to someone else how someone feels about you.

I don’t believe God exists. But I love, and you probably love too. And there are millions of other people on this earth who will agree with us that love exists and they will not question that we feel it. There are also millions of people who believe God exists, and they feel faith, and they feel the presence of their deity. People who share faith understand the chemical experiences happening in each other’s bodies. I don’t feel faith, I don’t understand it. But I understand love when someone describes it to me. Do you know what else I don’t understand? I don’t understand what it feels like to be a cis-gender man. But I trust they’re using appropriately processing methods to describe to me what’s happening in their mind and bodies so I do not discredit them or preside over their feelings. I do not take the position that they must prove to me their feelings about being male. I am a cis-gender female and I have no clue what it could possibly feel like to be a male, and there is no way to prove to me how they feel inside. And even if they show me all of the physical evidence in the world, the feeling of being a cis-gender man is different than a transgender man or transgender woman or cis-gender woman. No physical evidence can prove to me their sex or gender, but they can describe it and I can relate to how I feel my own gender, and I can choose to believe they are describing their truth.

Asking someone of faith to prove that God exists, or insinuating that there is no possible way for a God to exist is a microaggression. Impact is always greater and more important than intent.

When atheists make condescending or invalidating comments, what’s the end game? Is it just a joke for them? If so are they checking the impact? Atheism is not widely respected because there is a basic view that atheists lack morals or ethical motivations. When we approach people of faith as if their processing methods are broken, it appears as if we do lack morals or ethical motivations. When someone expresses their faith, they're expressing a love they feel.

If you’re not evangelizing as an atheist, why would you ask someone to dissect their feelings and prove them back to you? Especially if you wouldn’t ask someone to do the same after they told you that they’d fallen in love.

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Lover of lattes, champagne, avocados, sleep, and my perfect family. The epitome of a liberal millennial snowflake.

Boston, MA

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